At Black Hills Energy, we know that women make our company stronger and we value the contributions and impact our strong female employees and leaders make across our organization. Our goal is to be the workplace of choice for women. No matter what your area of expertise, we have an opportunity for you!
We have an established business resource group called Aspire. Aspire is one of Black Hills Energy's strategic initiatives to identify, recruit, and develop high-potential women. Aspire programs and training are open to ALL employees, regardless of gender.
As a Black Hills Energy employee, you’ll have access to Aspire leadership, networking and career development opportunities, such as:
Women have been making a significant impact in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields for centuries. Read more about our history here. The Energy Department continues to highlight the current successes of women in the energy sector with initiatives such as #WomeninSTEM, a video series launched in early 2014 highlighting women leaders advancing America’s clean energy future. To learn more about how the Department is working to support women in energy fields, visit the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity website.
Lindsay, Supervisor, Transmission Planning
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: I started as a field tech for a facility systems company in Alaska. I got to spend a lot of time in the field working with various contractors and got to participate in all parts of a project. I left that position to be a consultant and then moved to the local utility where I was a planner and then supervised design and construction. At Black Hills Energy, I lead the transmission planning group completing compliance study work and studying potential future projects.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? Black Hills Energy encourages everyone to pursue their career interests and provides a wide variety of training opportunities. The culture here is very inclusive and supportive of each other. The energy industry is a constantly growing and changing career field so it’s ideal for anyone that loves learning new things daily.
What career advice would you give your younger self? Set short and long term goals. Think about where you want to be in 20 years and start looking for development opportunities now to create the path to that end goal.
Renae, IT Financial Applications Manager
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: In my current role with Black Hills Energy, I manage a team of software developers in the IT organization who support and maintain the ERP system and financial applications. Before joining Black Hills Energy, I was in the telecommunications industry focusing on a BSS/OSS software solution.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? The energy industry, along with any industry, can gain a great deal of benefit by hiring and retaining not only women but also by ensuring they have a diverse work force. Black Hills Energy promotes that diversity and encourages opportunities to learn from each other.
What career advice would you give your younger self? Advice for my younger self would be to explore several different areas during college through internships and mentoring groups to gain as much experience and knowledge prior to graduation to help better prepare you for life in the real world. Never limit yourself and don’t be afraid to take a risk.
Maria, Environmental Professional II
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: My engineering career started in environmental consulting and design, then shifted when I accepted a position as a civil engineer for a construction company. I transitioned back to an environmental focus when I joined Black Hills Energy, where I focus on air quality monitoring, testing and reporting for our generation facilities and gas compressor stations, permitting, and overall environmental stewardship.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? Black Hills Energy strives to create a positive, dynamic and challenging environment within the energy industry for its employees. Strategic initiatives have been developed to provide resources and support to women within the company, promoting career growth and personal development.
What career advice would you give your younger self? Remain open to new opportunities, even if they take you outside your comfort zone. It’s in these challenges that you will learn your strengths and what skillsets you can enhance and refine.
Christianne, Assistant Treasurer
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: I’ve been with Black Hills Energy since 2017. I learned fairly early on in my career that I loved treasury finance and while I have worked in other areas of finance, I always come back to treasury. In my current role, I am responsible for managing the cash flow, financing the company with debt and equity, retirement plan administration and accounting, credit and shareholder services. I love my role. Every day is different, fast-paced and interesting.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? Black Hills Energy has made a commitment to develop all of its employees. As a manager of people, it is expected of me to ensure that my team is continually growing and we are having consistent discussions about development. The company provides many opportunities for an employee to pursue different types of development. I know that I can expect frank and productive conversations with my own boss about how I can learn and grow and that I will always get support to pursue my own development as much as possible. Having worked for other companies that did not provide that level of support, I understand how important it is and how precious when it isn’t available.
What career advice would you give your younger self? If I could only give one piece of advice to my younger self it would be to believe in myself more and go after what I wanted more quickly.
Nicole, Community Affairs Manager
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: In my role, I work with a variety of community leaders to build partnerships for effective communication and engagement opportunities. Prior to Black Hills Energy, I served as the executive director for the American Red Cross in northeast Iowa, and also worked in higher education fundraising and alumni relations.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? Black Hills Energy supports my professional development with a variety of learning opportunities and mentorship programs. I enjoy the fast-paced environment and opportunity to collaborate with diverse team members with various backgrounds and skill-sets.
What career advice would you give your younger self? “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” This famous quote was shared with me by a mentor after being placed in a job I was not excited for. The position ended up widening my skill-set and allowed me to take on new responsibilities that I could not have imagined.
Melinda, Regulatory & Finance Manager
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: In my current role I support our Colorado Electric utility, gas-fired and renewable generation facilities as a key regulatory and financial business partner. I manage the preparation, presentation and reporting of information for internal decision-making and regulatory filings. I started my career with Black Hills Energy as a financial analyst in our Corporate FPA group. I seek to achieve in my career journey the opportunities to learn, explore and collect experiences. I aim to broaden my experiences through pursuing different roles over time.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? The energy industry and Black Hills Energy provide vast opportunities to earn a seat at the table. I appreciate working for a company that values a diverse workforce.
What career advice would you give your younger self? “Run to the Roar” – Paul Assaiante
Jessie, Supervisor Gas Operations
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy: I began my career in the Call Center taking customer calls for five years, I then moved into a lead representative role still in the Call Center. I progressed to a Central Services trainer for two years. I was promoted to a supervisor in the Call Center and then was transferred as a supervisor to the Field Resource Center for one year. My current role is supervisor in Nebraska Operations and I have been in this role right at 2 years.
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? The Utility industry as a whole seems to be making a shift recognizing that there are women out there who can contribute at all levels! The tremendous ideas and perspectives that women bring are key to building successful teams and thriving companies. One of the great things about the utility industry is there are so many options and opportunities for women to land and make positive impacts.
What career advice would you give your younger self? Always trust your instincts and trust in yourself. Don’t be so afraid to misstep or make the wrong decision. Take some calculated risks without overthinking things. Forgive yourself a bit, because no one expects perfection except you. And stay patient, things don’t happen overnight.
Karen, SVP Growth and Strategy
Career journey and role at Black Hills Energy:
What makes the energy industry and Black Hills Energy ideal for women? From my perspective, the thing that makes the energy industry ideal for women is the diversity of roles and careers that are available. Areas like accounting, finance, supply chain, engineering, etc. offers tremendous opportunities for women to enter into the industry. At Black Hills Energy, we have a culture that is very open to creating opportunities for employees, with a focus on women, to move around and learn various part of the company, regardless of their formal education or experience.
What career advice would you give your younger self? I would tell my younger self to focus on the journey and not the destination. Try not to focus on the job title or level and instead focus on being open to new opportunities and driving value. Continue to develop capabilities in leadership, critical thinking and financial acumen.